2022 was a come-back year for cinema, what with all theaters opening back up and streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, AppleTV+, Disney+ , and others flexing their motion-picture muscle and making many first-run films they opted to NOT show in any theaters. With that in mind, here’s MY personal pix for the best and worst of 2022:
The Tragedy of Macbeth
Often repeated on film, this version soared above the rest with Denzel Washington giving a bravura performance as the tragic King of Scotland and Frances McDormand as his scheming wife. But it’s Kathryn Hunter as the three super creepy Witches that steals the show. This is Joel Coen’s (of the Coen Bros.) bleakest-looking film with washed-out colors, stark contrasts, and terrific acting across the board.
The Adam Project
What’s better than one Ryan Reynolds? Two Ryan Reynolds! Sure it’s a Back to the Future retread but with a dynamite script that pokes fun at all the time-travel tropes, it’s a blast to watch. Then you have the amazing tween Walker Scobell who mimics Reynolds so well it’s frightening! Fast-paced, funny, action-packed, and Reynolds doing his thing along with a mini-me! What’s not to like?
Everything Everywhere All At Once
No one could have predicted how utterly cool this movie is. Subversing time and interdimensional travel, ordinary Michele Yeoh becomes a stressed-out Billy Pilgrim in her own wildly unpredictable Slaughterhouse 5-type life as she is pushed and pulled into different versions of herself. Plus you have Short Round himself, Ke Huy Quan, back on the screen after decades, kicking butt and acting up a storm!
Don’t let anyone tell you differently, Vikings were dangerous! Alexander Skarsgard is lean, mean, ripped, and blood-thirsty as Amleth, a Viking warrior who will let nothing stop him from tracking down his kidnapped mommy, Nicole Kidman. It’s brutal, cruel, ghastly, shocking, and has Anna Taylor-Joy as a Slavic sorceress, so you know you’re in for some fun! Director Robert Eggers pulled no punches in his filming and it shows on the screen.
There’s a reason this Bollywood movie cracked the American cinema with such a loud bang! A simple story of two guys: a hard-core cop who begins a bromance with a street rebel who wants to bring down the ruthless British regime in 1920. At nearly three hours long (as are most Bollywood films), it’s chock-full of the most intense, crazy, jaw-dropping, outlandish, and death-defying stunts you’ll ever see! Trust me, this movie is unlike anything you’ve ever seen before!
Top Gun: Maverick
Rarely does a sequel live up to its original title but this one did and surpassed it! Tom Cruise returns as hotshot pilot Pete Mitchell, this time training other hotshot pilots back at his old Top Gun school, including the son of Goose, Miles Teller. Sure, it follows the same basic story but holy cow! All the flying scenes!! That’s really Cruise flying the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet jet. And no CGI! And at last count, this movie has made over $1.4 billion, so there’s that.
The King’s Daughter
Laughably bad from the start, this story has all the earmarks of a Disney wanna-be tale. It has your motherless princess, a ruthless King that has her locked up in a tower (Shrek, anyone?), a kidnapped mermaid, handsome bad guys who later become good, and a really weird happy ending. Pierce Brosnan (wearing a very silly wig) is the demented King who wants to vivisect the mermaid for immortality. Nothing (and nobody) in this movie makes any sense.
It’s a very sad day when your favorite action star falls into the B-category but that’s what happened to Liam Neeson and this awful film. He must’ve needed the paycheck, ’cause this film is a hopeless mess of the “spy being hunted by his own agency” trope. It’s badly written, badly directed, and badly acted. Really, Neeson, you deserve better!
You want a reason why you shouldn’t do remakes? This movie! I’m guessing the people over at Blumhose Productions saw the 1984 original and said, “Hey, we can do better, right?!” Well, they failed and they did it spectacularly. With a weird and puzzling adaptation of Stephen King’s novel, this terrible remake has cringe-worthy performances and equally bad CG fire effects. Oh, but you want to know what remake was worse? Disney’s Pinocchio!
OMG! In the words of Vito Corleone, “Look how they’ve massacred my boy!”This lame “live-action” remake of their 1940 classic is a combination of real people, CGI anthropomorphic animals, and Pinocchio who, btw, does not turn into a real boy at the end! Robert Zemeckis, who gave us the astounding CGI version of A Christmas Carol, must’ve lost a bet, as this version reeks as bad as the horse crap that Pinocchio smells in the street! At one point the wooden puppet even turns into an MCU superhero!